A few things I don't understand about some Flashaholics...

I'm not trying to bash anyone here, just looking for understanding.

First is the hatred of strobe and SOS modes. Why so much dislike? If you don't like those modes don't use them. Seems simple to me. It's like someone saying they don't need air conditioning in their car. Well... then just don't turn it on. With most lights it's not like you HAVE TO cycle through the strobe and SOS modes to use the light. No, you don't. You can use the light for your whole life and never once hit strobe or SOS.

And there are situations in life where strobe or SOS can be a good thing to have.

My other question regards ultra-low light modes. Like less than 1 lumen. WTF is that used for? Some say map reading. Guess what, I can read a map just fine with 15 lumens or 100 lumens. Many say lights that are too bright ruin their night vision. OK... are you walking in complete darkness where you really need that night vision? Or are you going to walk with a flashlight on? Hmmmmmmmm... seems to me most of us walk/hike with a flashlight. If you walk in total darkness with no flashlight then why do you even own flashlights?

The part that really baffles me is people that will pay good money to get the "dimmest" light they can buy. Why not use a candle? Or just the moon? It's like paying for a Corvette that has a top speed of 15mph.

I'll agree with the one lumen aspect of your argument. Dont understand it at all.

That is all the input I have for now. It is time to sleep for me lol.

Strobe/SOS is fine as long as you don't have to pass them when cycling through normal modes. Some lights have them in a separate program so that's good. Otherwise it's an inconvenience.

I also don't see the practicality of low low mode, or at least it being a big deal in not choosing a good light. For me at least. How often does one read maps in pitch darkness? I can just use the spill or bounce if I really want to avoid losing night vision - which can be reacquired easily anyway.

I can see it's usefulness when you are robbing an establishment and you want to look at the schematics/building plans while finding your way through so as not to attract attention. Similar thing with LEOs for special ops. If you're neither how else would low low mode be necessary?

I believe it is partially seeking the longest running light in the world.

At least I think so because I have at some point told people to get a dimmer in front of their flashlight to get it down to some 0,002 lumens but that is not an option they say :| Ultra-Low-Low seekers also seek for ultimate runtime.

I don't have to cycle through my AC, stereo, windshield wash and blinker to get to my heat ;)

It's fine when the modes are hidden but cumbersome when they aren't. They're rarely used and therefore should take an extra effort to access. That seems fair.

About 1 lumen low modes.. I still need more than that. However, less than 10 or around that is definitely a positive and more versatile.

I use my 1 lumen all the time, infact my torches spend 50% of their on time at 1 lumen, probably 25% on 10 lumens, and the last 25% on max

Moonlight isn't always full on, and it doesn't get indoors too well, and when moving around just after getting up, a low low is far more comfortable to adjust to, why blast away your night vision with 100 lumens only to have to wait another minute to be able to see again. Everyone uses their torches within their own context, and I find in my use I have a need for lower lows. Maybe you don't see the need and thats fine too.

Buying a corvette where you can't go slow isn't practical. A torch that can go low, doesn't mean it can't pocket rocket! Having a range of speeds is far more useful than having just fast and too fast.

And the SOS and strobe, I don't mind having, but its all about the UI. In the nitecore D11.2, the strobe and SOS are well hidden, and I really like that. In my budget lights with memory, its IMPOSSIBLE to not go through strobe and SOS, so lets say I see something nearby and I want a quick bit of light for half a second to check it out. Medium mode is what I'm after because its too close for high mode. So when I turn the torch on, its on low, I can't really see what I'm after, so to get medium, I need to cycle through modes, Strobe, SOS, High, then I get to medium. Doing it isn't hard, its just a process that takes time, and blinding/annoying to be going through full output strobes. Do this every time you want to actually USE the torch, and the novelty quickly wears off. For this reason, the disco modes are annoying. Cycling through disco 99% of the time you use a torch because of a function that is used 1% of the time doesn't cut it for me.

Unfortunately a fair number of nice budget lights are 5 mode with memory. And sometimes the memory is of the cheaper type (measuring on time) so you end up changing modes unexpectedly, and therefore need even more cycles to get to the right level. I think many of us can appreciate the benefits of strobe and SOS, but its more often than not a case of the UI causing it to get in the way. 3 mode torches help reduce the number of clicks needed to get a particular brightness, and no memory helps again, however nicer UIs such as the nitecore PDs really allow me to enjoy the benefits of disco modes without it ever getting in the way.

SO end of the day, its a problem with the UI, not the disco modes itself. The real question to ask is, can you put up with cycling through disco modes, or pay a couple dollars more to have no disco modes at all, or pay double the price for a UI that allows both.

90% of my torches fit into the last category because it is what I value, but accordingly, my collection cannot be as numerous as what some other flashaholics have the privilege(?) of enjoying.

Oh and runtime, my predator has been tested by the company to have 100 days runtime on moonlight, So my torch stays on moonlight instead of turning it off, so I can find it in the dark. Very convenient actually.

Try buying a light - design - you like without strobe or SOS ...

A few years ago it was especially hard , and the only option was single mode ...

Things are much better now ....

But manufacturers still insist on pushing hi-med-strobe , etc . [ Mainly Chinese ]

So unfortunately , if you see something that looks interesting , the modes offered may be rubbish , and your right - dont buy it - and most of us dont .

But we would like to !!!!! if the modes offered didnt bite hard ...

I could easily buy 5 flashlights tomorrow if they were offered in Hi med lo ... maybe more even ... But I wont , Im voting with my money ..

As long as people buy junk modes , flashlights will be made with junk modes .

I've bought higher priced drop-ins because they didn't have strobe modes and because they did have a decent low. The cheaper Chinese discount drop-ins typically have hi,med,low, strobe and memory. You can't avoid strobe mode.

This is the budget forum. Many budget lights are like that. With my more expensive lights it doesn't bother me if they have strobe because they are hidden and I don't have to use them.

Having a light with a low of 30 lumens is not what I want in most cases. It depends on what you do with your lights. I go hiking/camping and also use a telescope in my backyard sometimes. I also move around the house in the middle of the night occasionally as well as needing to check something outside at night.

Two lumens works well for that sometimes. If I'm not moving around as in a tent then .2 lumens works out about right. I think most people who complain about people who want lights with 2 lumens and .2 lumens haven't actually seen what those levels look like. They are brighter than you might think. What I really like though is a light that has well spaced levels including the low levels.

Regarding preserving night vision...it's just that..to preserve some vision so that you have some peripheral vision outside of just where the beam is shining. I have 40 watt bulbs in my front porch light rather than 100 watt bulbs for the same reason. With a 100 watt bulb I can see someone very clearly if they come to my door but if they step a few feet back into the yard they see me very clearly but I don't see them at all. I have no night vision in that case. With a 40 watt bulb we can both see each other. It's the same with flashlights.

To me there is nothing more annoying that moving around the yard or doing a little hiking after it has gotten dark with 100 lumens. You are effectively blind if you look in any direction other than where the flashlight is pointed.

As someone pointed out you wouldn't buy a Corvette that couldn't go 1 mile an hour. How would you move around a parking lot?

I totally agree with the above. For that reason, I try to buy lights with no memory. I think there must be a lot of people who own lights with many modes and no memory, but they don't realize that they can skip back to the first mode by turning the light off for 1-2 s, or in most cases, by half-pressing the switch for 1-2 s and releasing. I have an 8-mode light but I never see modes 5-8. I don't even remember what they are because I haven't used them after the first couple of days I had the light.

Example 1: Let's say I have a 5-mode light: H-M-L-strobe-SOS. Let's say I want Medium mode. If I have a light without memory, I pick up my light, click it on, and immediately, without pausing, without looking, without thinking, I half-press the switch again. I'm at M, guaranteed. If I have a light with memory, I pick up my light, click it on, and look at the output. If it's on L, I have to cycle through the strobe and SOS. Annoying. If it's at H, I half-press it to get to M. Same number of clicks and half-presses as with no memory, but I had to first look at the light output and use my brain to make a judgement. If it's already at M, then good, but wait, am I sure it's on M? Maybe the ambient light is different from what I'm used to, and it's actually on H. Or L. I take another couple of seconds to be sure... yes it's on M. My point is that, with memory, it takes more effort in most cases to reach the mode you want. Only if the light is already on the mode you want will it take less effort, and even then it's debatable because you have to take a second to look at the light output to confirm that it's the right mode. Without memory, there's no need to look at the light. Click, half-press and you're in M every time.

Example 2: say your light is currently on in M mode, and you want to switch to H. With no memory, you can either half-press 4 times, OR you can half-press and hold for 1-2 s, and release. That's it! With memory, you always have to half-press 4 times.

Of course, if you have a 5-mode light and you want the 5th mode, then it's a pain to click and then half-press 4 times, but if a typical light is H-M-L-strobe-SOS, and if most of us never use strobe and SOS, then at most it's a click and two half-presses. And you never have to look at the light output or use your brain to make a judgement.

Back to the original post, people bad-mouth strobe and SOS because they have to cycle through them. But that's either because your light has memory, or you don't know how to skip back to mode 1 without cycling. And if more people knew how to skip back to mode 1, I think more people would choose no-memory lights, and then there would be much fewer people bad-mouthing strobe and SOS.

I'm not really fussed on 1 lumen low or strobe/ sos. I can't see the point of a 1 lumen low. I also don't mind strobe/ sos but if I can choose I will go a 3 mode without them.

Strobe SOS are just plain annoying ...

The more powerful the flashlight is , the more annoying the junk modes .

It would be nice , if manufacturers offered a choice ...

Xtar is on the right track , making it easy for the user to change mode options ...

And there are some drivers , that can be moded , but when its a lottery as to which driver you may get ? [ More than one driver used ]

+ Manufacturers [ Chinese ] dont seem very interested [ a lot of them ] in user feed back , why change something if its selling ?

And who buy the most lights ? noobs , Ma and Pa Kettle ..

Flashlights are a lot like food , if they eat McDonalds , they'l buy McDonalds / Fast food - fast flashlights ...

But the thing with flashlights is , one phone call to the driver manufacturer and no more junk modes - Price = $0 But they cant be bothered ...

Just ask about the trouble Manafont has had asking for custom modes - or no junk modes ! The manufacturers dont seem to be interested ! as long as the stuff they make sells , they dont care ...

They will only care , if the product stops selling

So we can talk about junk modes till were blue in the face , the situation will only change when people vote with the $$ , the only problem being once again , a lack of options ..

Just look at the sub $20 AA market .. How many - lacking junk modes - lights are there ?

In the $20 - $30 bracket there are a few --

And as you go up in price , the situation improves a little !

Who wants to buy a $100 AA flashlight thats the bees knees and does what you want , when you can buy one as bright for $15 but with annoying junk modes , and that is the situation we are in ATM [ Noobs - or 99% of flashlight buyers ] [ Us flashaholics are a very small minority ]

I want strobe on my lights, because I can use them as bike lights. But I want the strobe mode to be out of the way. I know a guy who used his light in strobe mode at a party, instead of a traditional strobe light or disco ball. I put one of my lights on strobe mode inside a pumpkin once for Halloween.

How did strobe and SOS (and in my 8-mode light, multiple strobe speeds) make their way into lights in the first place? Maybe there was some guy in a workshop, and while designing a driver for this spiffy "new" LED light, he realized "hey LEDs can be turned on and off repeatedly without damage... I could program in this strobe feature, just for laughs..." and then he shows it to his friends, and they all think it's cool, so pretty soon everybody has programmed in at least one strobe mode.

The mode arrangement I like is L-M-H-strobe with no memory. That's exactly what the Dry 4-mode has, so I had to order one. (L-M-H-turbo-strobe is even better for higher-powered lights)

Having no memory solves a lot of the issues of working out what mode your in at the start, and getting to the mode your after.

Number of modes is a big thing though, and in my fully programmable torches, I find I end up programming 3 modes at most, low, low/med, and high. For the fun of it, I will program in a strobe, but with a week I will remove it again. Practically its not fun to have a strobe to cycle through, even with a torch programmed with no memory and the 'ideal' modes.

They wouldn't be annoying if you never saw them, and you'd never see them if your light had no memory. :)

When i first got on the LED bandwagon a few months ago, i wanted all my lights to have strobe.

Actually now I still prefer strobe....SOS perhaps not so. But some of my lights have groupings so not too bad. Even the $46 Fandyfire STL-V6 Olight M3X clone has 2 groups.

Yeah my wife has a programmable LiteFlux, and she said "no strobe" so I set it up for just L-M-H. If it were my light, I'd also have no strobe on it, because it has an electronic pushbutton, not an electromechanical switch, so you can't do the half-press-and-hold action with it.

Please people...no ass-baiting. ;)

OP, you may be complaining about stupid, useless modes and the people that buy them but remember there's someone out there thinking you're a wackjob for having more than 2 or 3 dollar store flashlights. lol

Remember people...it's not the "special" modes that we dislike, rather having to cycle through them each and every time we get out of high mode.

Flashing modes are stuff 99% of the people won't use 99% of the time, so it's unclear why 99% of chinese lights include them. Likewise, low low modes are only useful when you're already in pitch darkness. Most people also live in the light, and use a flashlight to avoid complete darkness when they must traverse it, so it's also an edge case though a less annoying one unless a memory-less light starts on it.

Do you understand now?

You seem to understand already.